[SPOILER ALERT: Spoilers ahead for the fifth Houseguest evicted from Big Brother 24.]
Las Vegas-based performer Daniel Durston quickly aligned with Nicole Layog during the first days of Big Brother 24, forming the Rogue Rats. Even though he won the first Head of Household and joined a few alliances, he and Nicole quickly became targets of The Leftovers (Taylor Hale, Monte Taylor, Michael Bruner, Matt “Turner,” Kyle Capener, Joseph Abdin, and Brittany Hoopes) who formed in part due to their treatment of Taylor. The 35-year-old realized the group was working together and attempting to warn other Houseguests following the eviction of Nicole. However, when he failed to win the next HOH and couldn’t play in the Veto, he was backdoored and evicted in an 8-1 vote. After his eviction, the final Houseguest not to make the Jury phase spoke to Showbiz Cheat Sheet about his blind loyalty to Paloma Aguilar, treatment of Taylor Hale, habit of taking on other’s causes, and his reaction to possibly cementing his spot in the franchise as a villain.
You won the first HOH, but you noticed that a lot of people were not talking game to you. You saw the opportunity to gain more allies when you heard a lot of people wanting Taylor out of the house. This was because Paloma got offended by little things Taylor said. It also turned out that Taylor was telling the truth when she was talking to Monte about her wanting to target the other men in the game, including you. Looking back, do you think your blind support for Paloma hurt or helped your game?
Definitely affected my game negatively. It doesn’t change the way we connected on a brother/sister level. I believe in putting your trust and loyalty into people that you don’t necessarily know, but in the house, six days feels like six weeks. Definitely affected me on a negative sense, but I do respect all gameplay. I respect there was a girls alliance, and they were after men and that I’m one of them. Now that I’m outside the house, it’s easier to remove personal from game, but when you’re in there, it’s hard to separate the two.
You told Nicole, “The minute I saw her (Taylor), I knew it was going to be bad news.” What was it about her that gave you that first impression?
I meant that as I saw myself in her. I saw a very strong player, a badass, someone who’s going to absolutely kill this game. So, I was afraid that if I were to put her on the block initially, she would come after me because I would do the same for anyone, especially first week when you don’t even know people. It was more of an ‘oh no, I’m seeing another person like me in this house who may absolutely destroy me in the game.’
Throughout your time competing, you had the habit of taking on a lot of people’s causes. At one point, you wanted Taylor to apologize to everyone, and you believed Nicole when she accused Taylor of being passive-aggressive, resulting in that huge blow-up. Were you aware of this pattern in your gameplay, and is this how you wanted to play?
It’s definitely not how I wanted to play. I am an emotional and a loyal person in the outside world. I thought I would be able to remove those things as a superfan going in strictly as game, but we are human, and it got the best of me. When you’re in that house, everything’s heightened. Unfortunately, my emotions were as well. It got the best of me, and I wish I could step back and take that away, but you are who you are. Going in, the emotions got me, and I wish I could have stepped back, even if I was emotional, at least speak to them and get to the bottom of it as opposed to just lashing out. It was definitely my failure and my wrongdoing, for sure.
As a superfan, you warned against a huge alliance forming and steamrolling the competition. That’s a huge reason why The Leftovers formed. Also, on behalf of the whole blowup with Taylor. Looking back, what’s your perspective knowing that The Leftovers saved the season from bullying and a certain type of steamrolling?
I respect that they created this alliance outside of my outburst. As a fan, I look at that as the underdogs coming together because of a negative situation that happened. Unfortunately, I was the reason. But I do respect that. Although I’m not a fan of mass alliances in the game because I am a superfan, and I want there to be more gameplay as opposed to one team taking over everything. It makes sense, I respect it, and it’s kind of a heroic alliance, so I think that’s pretty cool. It kind of makes it interesting moving forward to see how they’ll turn against each other in the game.
Entertainment Tonight claimed you “cemented [your] place as one of the most reviled houseguests in recent memory” after the blow-up. You’re a superfan, so you’re aware of some of the personalities who came before you that are seen as villains. What’s your reaction that you might be in the same company after your time on the show?
That’s fine; I understand that. I respect that. There’s nothing I can do about it. People will take it as they will and what happened had happened. All I can hope is that I learn from it as opposed to being proud of it.
Who are you rooting for to win the game?
Two different ones: I do think Michael is going to win this game. If people are not going to take him out, he deserves it already. But I am rooting for Terrance and Jasmine at this point; I absolutely love them. I’ve connected with them on game and personal levels. And I do think they have it in them, especially Terrance being one of the older people in the house. I would love to see him stride forward.
Who would you like to see leave the house next?
Michael, in the same sense. He’s such a good player. I hope the house wakes up and realizes this is one of the best players in a long time. He really showed his cards. He’s a superfan and shouldn’t have won five competitions in a row.
Big Brother 24 airs Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays on CBS.